Suquamish Tribe joins NY in approving same-sex marriages

Aug 2, 2011

BREMERTON, Wash. – The Suquamish Tribal Council voted Monday to extend marriage rights to same-sex couples.

The Kitsap Sun reports the new law allows the tribal court to issue a marriage license to two unmarried people, regardless of their sex, if they are at least 18 years old and at least one of them is an enrolled member of the Suquamish Tribe.

The council voted at the request of Heather Purser, a 28-year-old who has been trying to have the tribe's law changed for about four years. She says she hopes the change may encourage some members to feel more comfortable publicly acknowledging their homosexuality.

The Suquamish are the people of Chief Seattle. The Port Madison Reservation in Kitsap County has about 6,500 residents.